Is my coop big enough, and do these breeds get along?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by keller298, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. keller298

    keller298 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am going to have 6 hens in a backyard coop. The coop will be inside an enclosed run that is 10'x12' for a total of 120 square feet enclosed, and it will be covered as well.
    The coop itself will be 4x4 and 2.5-3' tall (it will slope from 3' to 2.5') so it will have 16 sq feet of floor space.

    I am elevating the nest boxes 15" so they will not take up floor space in the coop. I will also have 2 roost branches approx 4' long each, also 15" off the floor.

    Does this sound large enough? If necessary I still have time to put the nest boxes outside the coop, since we haven't finished that wall yet. But I would really like it inside the coop so it doesn't LOOK like a chicken coop. (We are still trying to get the law changed)

    The hens I am picking up on Wednesday are:
    2 Ameracaunas
    2 New Hampshire reds
    1 Buff Orpington
    1 Hubbard Golden Comet

    Do these generally get along well? I needed cold and heat tolerant, docile, and preferred some foraging, with a decent egg output but not a commercial output.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sounds like a good batch of hens! My Golden Comets (aka Red Sex Links) tend to be a bit bossy towards the other chickens. Same with the New Hampshires. But both of these breeds can put out a ton of eggs! The Ameraucanas are probably Easter Eggers, meaning they could lay blue, green or cream eggs depending on the girl. They are sometimes a little loud and flighty but can be personable. The Buffs tend to be calm and friendly, though I have had some exceptions. They should all get along quite well; most breeds do.

    As for space, I usually say 4 sq ft per hen, so your coop is a little small. BUT, outdoor space should be 10 sq ft per bird, so you definitely have enough run space. The coop interior square footage is helpful in how often you have to clean as well.

    With nest boxes and roosts at the same height, be prepared for them to roost on top of the nest boxes, even if they are slanted. If the nest boxes don't take up floor space though, it does help with the square footage situation.

    Good luck, sounds like you're doing all the right research. What an exciting time! [​IMG]
     
  3. CrazyChickGirl

    CrazyChickGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We aren't allowed chickens either. We talked to our neighbors though and they are all supportive... Especially with the idea of free eggs. ;) We did make the coop shorter then the fence line so know one can see our coop unless they go looking for it. Honestly, if your chickens are out during the day, people will know its a coop even without the nesting box sticking out... Or at least that's my thinking. I vote for outside nesting boxes, so that way you have a bit of room in the coop for food and water too.
     
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  4. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with the secrecy plan--the secret will definitely be out if you get a hen that likes to be loud when she lays her egg!

    On the note of feed and water: I would water only in the run, and feed in the run as well if you can, to avoid moisture, spills, etc.
     
  5. JaceAgain

    JaceAgain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That coop is tiny, way too small for 6 full grown chickens. Make a coop that looks like a shed (or buy a shed and convert it to a coop) if you need to be stealthy.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. keller298

    keller298 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2014
    Ohio
    Unfortunately I cannot afford a shed size coop. The ones I see on here are similar dimensions and say they fit 6-8 chickens so I didn't think I was too far off. We decided to put the nest boxes out the back to give us 3 more sq ft. I hope it is enough because it was almost done when I posted this besides the nest boxes and front door.
    If I find it is too crowded we will have to come up with a solution. The run itself is completely covered, I was hoping that would help.
    Thanks for all the replies! Suggestions are welcome :)
     
  7. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like it'll be too small but I hope it works out for you and your flock
     
  8. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have had decent luck with too-small coops if:

    1. The chickens are non-aggressive.
    2. The chickens do not get stressed out.
    3. The coop is thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis.
    4. The chickens are 100% free range during daylight hours.

    If you plan to do anything very different from that, you may have trouble with a coop that size.
     
  9. Original Recipe

    Original Recipe Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 3, 2013
    I don't believe your coop is too small but it is at the low end of the guidelines. My coop is also 4'x4' and the nest box is external. Mine is housing 8 and I'm not having any issues associated with overcrowding. Mine pretty much only use the coop for sleeping and accessing the nest box as they spend most of their time in the enclosed run. I have two roost bars but my girls like to squeeze together on the roost and do not even utilize about 1/3 of the available roosting space. As long as your run has adequate space (which it does), you'll be fine.

    I also have three of the varieties that you are getting; 6-Golden Comet, 1- Buff Orpington, 1- Amerucana/EE. They get along very well.
     
  10. JaceAgain

    JaceAgain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    4x4x 2-3ft tall?? then yours is way too small as well.

    OP, get less chickens. Its not fair to crowd them in such a small box.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014

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